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How the protection industry can improve on mental health

 

The protection industry recognises that more needs to be done to support individuals that live with mental health problems, according to Deepak Jobanputra, the deputy chief executive at Vitality.

Appearing on the FTAdviser Podcast, Mr Jobanputra said there were ways the industry needed to change to appeal to those living with mental health issues.

He welcomed the movement for more people to talk about mental health openly, and said the protection industry was moving in line with this trend.

He added: “We need to be clearer to advisers and consumers about what’s covered and what’s not covered, and the reasons behind this.

“It’s important we’re empathetic with our approach about this and I think it’s really important that we progress in this area.”

Kathryn Knowles, managing director at Cura Financial Services, who also appeared on the podcast, agreed.

She said it could be very difficult for some people to open up and speak with a financial adviser.

She said: “To do that, and to not know if you’re going to get support at the other side, takes a lot.”

Both Ms Knowles and Mr Jobanputra were positive about the moves that had already been made in the industry.

Ms Knowles said insurers were sometimes being “quite sensible and reactive” to tough situations.

But she added there was the potential for a more medically-based underwriting process in the industry as when an insurer asks for medical tests this showed they had all the information they needed and there would be no problems at the claims process.

Meanwhile, Mr Jobanputra said underwriting was “really well developed” in the protection industry but that mental health would need a more holistic view in terms of insuring and questionnaires used.

Each week, FTAdviser will be joined by guests from the industry to discuss the week in news and pressing industry issues.

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imogen.tew@ft.com

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